February 13, 2007–Tuesday (non-italic text within parentheses are current notations)
Today’s Truth: I AM STRONG
Sometimes I don’t think so. But today–when faced with someone else’s weakness–I realized the vessel of strength I am.
Here at (work) we’ve converted to a new system. The transition has been rough, to say the least. Pile on top of that my car being hit (someone backed into me in the Trader Joe’s parking lot, crumpling the rear of my car), my house being hit (someone–who I believe was my psycho neighbor, though I had no proof–drove into the side of my rental home, taking out a few bricks and the water for a few days), and my spirit being pummeled by Victor’s departure, I’ve been sinking sinking for the past two months. But I’ve left the house every day. I’ve come to work all but one day. (While at work) I worked and did not let the job suffer. I’ve led a social life, going out to dinner, the movies, shows. I’ve celebrated birthdays, including my own. I’ve been there for others. I’ve worked out–minimally, but I’ve done it. I’ve written–completed a long-sitting project, in fact, and picked up another. I’ve contacted friends, old and new. I’ve kept in touch with family. I’ve cried every day but still get out of bed knowing I’ll cry that day too, and the next and the next. But I’ve kept going. And today I come in to work and find out Misty (not the person’s name)–who was scheduled to work cashroom (ah, the dreaded cashroom. Dealing with people all day long, your work interrupted by those needing a transaction or just wanting to talk. At this point in my work career I was an accounting clerk with a desk full of paper work. Cashroom was an entry-level position, how I started, the dreaded 5pm to 3am shift) came in and just left. So I’m in here now, dealing with today’s mess, dealing with yesterday’s mess that she left behind (it was a HUGE no-no to have unresolved cashroom work from a previous day, but Misty did it all the time). There were many days I came in here these past two months and wanted to go home. In December, when I was running back and forth to let the repairmen into my house (yes, even as far back as December 2006 I was dealing with the crap. The hot water heater busted and flooded the living room. No water for about two weeks. And the hot water heater was connected to the heat, so the house was freezing, uninhabitable. I lived in a hotel for a while. Yes, Vegas gets cold in the winter. That winter was bone-chilling). New Year’s Eve and Day, when I would have rather been with my family (Mom, Rob, Lani, Steve and Ash, all from Philly) when I was working a schedule most in my position would have refused to work. January 12, the first time I noticed Victor’s name had been taken off the schedule and I cried in the bathroom (yeah, Victor, if you ever read this, you sank me for a good seven months, you jerk. But I still hold nothing but affection). January 23, when Harold (not the person’s name) sent me the term list to update in our system and Victor’s name was on it. I ran outside to the loading docks and called my mom, crying to her for about fifteen minutes until my face was so red and swollen I couldn’t breathe, but I didn’t leave work. Sometimes I cried in the corner of the cashroom, away from the cameras. Sometimes my body mercifully waited until I was in the parking lot on my way to my car to erupt. All of this, and still I did not see myself as strong. I saw none of the house problems, the car problems, the work problems. I saw only my broken heart and what a weak woman I was for letting a man do this to me. I saw no strength. But now this with Misty. Misty who called out the day after Thanksgiving and I had to come in and cover her in cashroom. Misty who left early on Christmas when I BEGGED to work Christmas (Christmas was time and half and my family wasn’t coming until the 28th or so. But I was working New Year’s Day, also time and a half and I didn’t really have a choice because all administrative accounting employees had to work New Year’s Day. Misty, of course, had off. So she got Christmas, and ended up leaving early because she didn’t “feel good.” I got called in to work cashroom on my day off). And now today, on my birthday, Misty goes home “sick” and here I am, in the cashroom covering her once again while the work on my desk suffers. So I know this is true: I AM STRONG.
Whew. Reading that even now, almost eight years later, it still strikes a chord with me. If I hold one negative belief about myself (and trust me, I definitely hold more than one), it is that I am weak. I cry a lot, I worry a lot, I avoid confrontation. I see this as a weakness in me. At this time in my Vegas life, the punches just kept coming and I felt as though I was buckling under them because I was crying, losing sleep, unable to see a way out. But when I examined the truth, not what I was thinking about myself, but what my actions were, I saw just how strong I was. How capable. Brave and courageous. My heart had taken a hit, my home life, work life, and I kept on going. Thriving. I finally saw it when I sat down to put it on paper, and I see it again now as I read this journal entry. Sometimes there’s so much chatter in our heads, we don’t have the capability to just see what is.
So take some time for yourselves, lovelies. Especially in this hectic Christmas season. For my women friends working in and out if the house and taking care of children and shopping and planning parties and mixing with the in-laws: you are loving, kind, nurturing sisters who get the job done. Don’t dare for one minute tell yourself you need to do more or what you’ve already done isn’t quite good enough. When you make that New Year’s resolution, don’t focus on your supposed shortcomings. Focus on easing up on yourself, taking care of yourself, not beating yourself up for another year of not looking perfect in that bikini or putting down the cigarettes for good. Resolve to love yourself more this year, put yourself first, encourage that lady in the mirror and send her off into the world with the confidence and security you instill in your husband and children. You do this, and the rest will naturally fall into place. Honor that lady, and tell her the truth.